The "Cash for Clunkers" program has been in effect for all of about
2 months 1 month, taking effect something like the week being heavily talked about around the time we got our new Jeep. Although we didn't qualify for it (not only did we "buy too early", but the Jeep doesn't get significantly better mileage than the Expedition did), many people do or would. Under the terms of the program, the first qualification level gets the consumer a $3,500 credit toward the purchase of their new vehicle, and the second level (which requires even higher increase in mileage from the old car to the new one) would net the consumer a $4,500 credit.
I've had concerns about this program, likening it to a problem like the housing "crisis" (albeit on a smaller scale) in which people bought more than they could actually afford. Here they had a car that ran, but might've wanted to trade up, but maybe couldn't afford it because of a lack of a down payment, or the payments would be too high. But with this credit, perhaps they could get that new car, perhaps a Toyota "Pious" or some other high-priced car. Maybe their previous car was paid off, and now they will be responsible for car payments again. In these wonky economic times, we must each take stock of our own financial stability and determine for ourselves the risks we're willing to take ... but some of us might not have taken out that car loan without this incentive. Consumers are trusting that this program will help them.
But it could be a plus for the car dealership, a huge number of whom have been looking forward to the increased sales they have anticipated this program would bring in. Many (if not most) have increased their advertising buys and built up campaigns around this program and new car buyers it would bring in.
Personally, I don't believe that the government should be in the business of trying to influence people's purchasing decisions ... of course, I don't believe they should be in the banking or automotive industries, either, nor do I believe they should be trying to get into the health care industry ... but that's neither here nor there. I don't make the decisions. I just find out things and try to share them with my friends and those who stumble here as the result of a whim or an ill-placed keystroke or mouse click.
... But look what I found out this evening on the Fox Business site, after my friend Christa mentioned that she's seen something about it *very* recently ...
My favorite parts? "the allocation of $1 billion for the program averaged out to just 12.5 vehicles per dealer, which given the program’s popularity, didn’t seem to be enough." and "It is believed that any deals submitted through midnight Thursday night will be honored."
FOXBusiness - Thursday, July 30, 2009
The U.S. government has reportedly suspended the “Cash for Clunkers” program, which may have proven to be too popular for its own good.
A House leadership staffer told FOX Business on Thursday that House members are being informed by the Department of Transportation that the program is either out of money or will be by the time the current deals are processed.
A White House official said that "we are working tonight to assess the situation facing what is obviously an incredibly popular program. Auto dealers and consumers should have confidence that all valid CARS transactions that have taken place to date will be honored."
It is believed that any deals submitted through midnight Thursday night will be honored.
As FOX Business’s Brian Sullivan reported on Wednesday, the allocation of $1 billion for the program averaged out to just 12.5 vehicles per dealer, which given the program’s popularity, didn’t seem to be enough.
“Cash for Clunkers,” officially the Car Allowance Rebate System, gives money to people who trade in certain qualified vehicles and buy vehicles that are more fuel-efficient. The traded-in cars aren’t able to be re-sold -- their engines must be rendered unusable by the dealers.
The program’s Web site said as of Thursday evening that $779 million remained in the program, with $75 million remaining for CAT3 trucks.
There were signs Wednesday evening that the CARS program might gain new life.
The Department of Transportation said it’s “not suspending” the CARS program, but is instead working with the White House and Congress to try to fund the program to meet demand.
And Ed Markey (D-Mass.), one of the original authors of the CARS program, pledged to work with the Obama Administration to make sure the program continues.
--FOX Business's Peter Barnes and FOX News's Chad Pergram contributed to this article.
Just imagine what these self same idiots will do with our health care. Can't you just see the following taking place?
DOCTOR: "I'm sorry ... we were going to fund your operation ... we really meant to ... and you're not too old or a member of our political opposition and you don't partake in anything we don't approve of or anything like that ... we just don't have the money anymore. ... Can I interest you in a pain killer and some end of life counseling instead? NEXT!"